Conflict-of-interest concerns surround lottery superintendent

Published 11/06 2013 04:59PM

Updated 11/06 2013 06:53PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Conflict-of-interest concerns are being raised about Illinois lottery superintendent Mike Jones, but he says he doesn't know anything about it. A watchdog group says he played a part in awarding a contract to his former company.

Before starting with the lottery a few years ago, Jones started a lottery consulting firm. The Better Government Association says the firm now has a contract with Northstar, which is the company running the state lottery, and adds Jones pushed for that contract to happen.

Lawmakers asked about his role in the dealings Tuesday, but Jones says he has cut all ties with the consulting firm and he had no idea both sides were even working together.

Lawmakers also raised concerns over a recent audit of the state lottery. Findings showed about $200-million in bookkeeping errors.

Lottery officials blame it on a bad transition when the state sold the lottery to Northstar. Jones says all of the mistakes should be fixed now, but lawmakers still want to double-check. They're asking for a meeting with Northstar early next year.

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